Thursday, 13 March 2008

Paranoid Androids

"Aaaatchoo!". "Cough". "Splutter".

Illness is ravaging throughout our house and at the first signs of any of these noises, we wrap ourselves up in a blanket of paranoia. The perils of running your own separate businesses means that sick days are an absolute no. The days of picking up the phone and in exaggerated tones telling your boss how seriously ill you are have long gone.

The kitchen is seeing a bit of action concocting recipes that will speed up our recovery. My man flu ravaged body can just about chop and slice a few vegetables, and my ladies can just about hold a spoon up to their mouths. It is all a bit pathetic really.

I've had a huge butternut squash sitting on the kitchen bench looking like a patient baby this past week. It was donated to me from a school I taught at, left over’s from a 'Spot the Vegetable' competition. I thought that the whole thing deserved to go into a simple soup with a bulb of that vampire and cold busting vegetable, garlic. Roasted until golden with fennel seeds and chilli, it formed the perfect tonic for our aching bodies. Sweet, deep and hot, and with a few crunchy roasted pistachios sprinkled on top, well, crunchy.

I'm donating this soup to Holler and Lisa's No Croutons Required challenge, as this month they have asked for a spicy soup that will tingle on the tongue. This one certainly does. And it also demolishes colds and flu’s. Yes, even man flu...

Roast Squash, Garlic and Pistachio Nut Soup

1 whole squash, cut into segments and seeded
1 whole bulb of garlic, separated
1 tbsp fennel seeds
1 tbsp chilli flakes
4 tbsp olive or rapeseed oil
500ml water
Soya sauce
A handful of pistachio nuts, shelled

1 - Pre-heat the oven to 200 degrees C, GM6.
2 - Slice the squash lengthways into 8 pieces. Place into a baking tray.
3 - Put the garlic cloves into the baking tray. Sprinkle in the fennel seeds and chilli and then the oil. Give it a good mix then place on a high shelf. Bake for 30-40 minutes until golden and fragrant.
4 - Remove the tray from the oven and allow to cool a little. Scrape the flesh from the skin into a pan and squeeze out the garlic from the cloves.
5 - Blitz with a hand blender until smooth. Taste for seasoning and add a little soya sauce to taste.
6 - In a dry pan, roast the pistachios until fragrant and coloured. Roughly chop.
7 - Serve the soup in bowls with a sprinkling of pistachios, a little more chilli flakes and some of the roasting oil from the baking tray.


Jacqueline Meldrum said...

Hi David, great looking soup! I would have expected nothing less! Thanks for entering it into the challenge.
I hope you are feeling better soon! Zinc is very good for warding off colds, but I am sure your soup will do the job equally as well!

Lisa Turner said...

Sorry to hear there is so much illness at your house, but I'm not sorry you have contributed this soup to our event. It sounds wonderful. Thanks for participating.

Deborah Dowd said...

The coughing, sneezing and red noses are raging at our house too. I will have to try this soup- it sounds like it has the comfort and the spice that a cold requires.

Valerie Harrison (bellini) said...

This spicy soup will cure your ills David. Hope everyone feels better soon:D

Aimée said...

Get well soon, David and family!

Anonymous said...

Hi David
Just wanted to thank you for this - it sounds delicious. One to make on Saturday!

aforkfulofspaghetti said...

So pistachio nuts rather than cashews, then?? ;)

All sounds good to me, David - I like the addition of fennel seeds in here, too.

Pixie said...

WOW! You found the cure to man flu! lol

Hope you feel better soon and this sounds like a lovely comforting soup.

Abitofafoodie said...

Yummy looking soup, David. Hope it did the trick and you are now feeling better. I always throw lots of chilli, garlic and ginger at colds - good plan!

Peter M said...

Fennel seeds go so well with squash and the health properties of the spice might help you along with the flu!

Coffee and Vanilla said...


This soup sounds delicious... I have butternut squash in the kitchen... I was planning to make risotto with it, but who knows... ;) maybe I will try your soup instead.

I hope you and your family will feel better soon!!


Pat said...

Hope you all feel better soon!!!! You should try Wendy's Tom Yummish soup, with Chicken broth, peppers and ginger that would knock the flu right out.
But I do like the sound of your soup!!! Thanks!

Susan from Food Blogga said...

This soup will surely have the coughs and sneezes running from your house. Get well soon. :)

Anonymous said...

Can't wait to try this soup! I've had a butternut squash sitting on the counter for ages. . now can finally use it!

eatme_delicious said...

This soup sounds delicious! I love the pistachio garnish.

Meatball Marinara

An unnamed high street food provider has a version of this on their menu. Meatball marinara: hot meatballs, tomato sauce and cheese stuffed ...